Energy Efficiency and Green Building Standards for State Buildings

Program Energy Efficiency and Green Building Standards for State Buildings
Category Regulatory Policy
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State Wisconsin
Technologies Solar - Passive, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Photovoltaics, Daylighting

In March, 2006, Wisconsin enacted SB 459, the Energy Efficiency and Renewables Act. With respect to energy efficiency, this bill requires the Department of Administration (DOA) to prescribe and annually review energy efficiency standards for all equipment for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, water heating or cooling, lighting, refrigeration, or other function that consumes energy. These standards must meet or exceed federal EPA standards, federal energy management standards, and standards established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers. The DOA will ensure that all buildings and equipment purchased for those buildings maximize energy efficiency to the extent technically and economically feasible. No purchasing agency or authority may purchase equipment that does not meet these requirements.

Each of the six largest state agencies is required to submit a biannual report detailing plans for energy cost reduction in the facilities it occupies, and the DOA institutes rules promoting energy conservation in the energy conservation code. Geothermal technologies in space and water heating must also be used whenever technically and economically feasible.

Executive Order No. 145, also issued in 2006, directed the DOA to set energy efficiency goals for state facilities, office buildings, complexes, and campuses for fiscal years 2007, 2008, and 2009. These goals reduced overall energy use per square foot by 10% by 2008 and 20% by 2010, based on the fiscal year (FY) 2005 adjusted for weather. New state facilities were required to be 30% more efficient than commercial code; however, in 2012, this requirement was reduced to only 10% more efficient that commercial code. Lastly, state agencies must examine the feasibility of energy performance contracting. The 2012 Executive Order also requires the DOA to evaluate the performance contracting program and submit recommendations for revisions to the Secretary of the DOA by December 1st of every even-numbered year.

According to the Department of Administration's FY 2010 Energy Use Report, state agencies and universities reduced energy use per square foot by 9.8% in FY 2010 compared to FY 2005. Sustainable building guidelines based on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system that recognize the use of forest products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), American Tree Farm System (ATFS), and Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) apply to the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of all new construction, additions, and retrofit projects in state buildings. Click here to view the most recent revision of the DOA's Sustainable Facilities Design Guidelines. 

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